Baylor College of Medicine

Stacks of coins

Calming your recession anxiety

Homa Shalchi


Houston, TX -

The potential for a recession has spurred anxiety in people across the country. A Baylor College of Medicine expert offers tips on how to manage these feelings.
“There has been a 50% increase in anxiety over the last couple of years, and finances are a major contribution to that,” said Dr. Asim Shah, professor and executive vice chair in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor.
Meet with a financial advisor
People who are retiring in the next few years are likely anxious about finances ahead of a possible recession. Shah suggests meeting with a financial advisor who can talk you through your situation.
Relax and distract yourself
If you feel anxious and overwhelmed, incorporate relaxation techniques, such as exercising, walking or taking deep breaths. Everyone relaxes differently, so do what works best for you.
Distract yourself from the anxiety by focusing on something positive. Do activities you enjoy and spend time with people you love and trust.
Know your triggers
You alone cannot control a national recession, even if you have the best financial advisor. If you feel on edge, understand your triggers. Avoid looking at your 401k or financial plans excessively if it exacerbates anxiety.
Shop with cash, pay bills on time
People tend to spend more when shopping with a credit card instead of cash. With cash, you have a set amount to spend, and you won’t make excess purchases.
“Studies show that shopping with cash is less stressful because you don’t spend extra,” Shah said.
Pay your bills on time and do not let them pile up to prevent additional anxiety.
Revise vacation plans
Instead of taking extravagant vacations, plan small, short vacations nearby. You can visit a nearby beach or city with family and friends. You don’t have to go too far to enjoy time away. Taking even a short amount of time away from your usual routine can help reduce anxiety and help you reset.
Have a plan
Planning reduces anxiety and gives peace of mind. Planning expenses ahead of time can:

•    Positively impact your mental well-being
•    Reduce anxiety and stress
•    Improve sleep
If you experience unbearable anxiety, Shah suggests speaking with a mental health specialist.

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